PIND 2014 Youth Link Forum for Niger Delta

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Date: October 14 & 15, 2014
Venue: Aldgate Congress Hotel, 308 Abacha Road, GRA Phase III, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Linking Youth to Employability and Entrepreneurship Skills

About the Youth Link
The Youth Link serves as a platform for discussion, networking and action that focus on enablers for  shaping and instilling a positive attitude in young people. It also provide an opportunity for like-minded organizations and individuals to inform and influence policies and approaches that promote results oriented programs for unlocking opportunities for youth in Niger Delta. It is designed to promote the right skills sets for the world of work, entrepreneurship and contribution to the development of the Niger Delta.

Rationale for 2014 Youth Link Forum
For over two decades, the federal government has invested substantially in youth employment generation and economic empowerment policies. While government investments in employment programs are commendable, there are concerns about the transparency, operational effectiveness,
politicization and actual benefits of some of the programs. These challenges have implications for the prospects of the programs contributing to reducing youth unemployment (NSRP 2014).

During the inception phase of PIND, a Niger Delta Youth assessment study was conducted in Bayelsa,
Delta, Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Edo state in 2012. Information was elicited from young people between the ages of 15-35. Findings from the study revealed that youth in the region were portrayed as poorly educated, lacking job skills, and prone to militancy or violence and have an “entitlement mentality”. On the contrary, young people saw themselves as having great potential and motivation to improve their circumstances. However, they described their lack of access to skills or resources that could assist them in succeeding as a major obstacle to their development.

All research participants (young people, government officials, and private sector employers) recommended that young people in the Niger Delta require employability training and support. The need for life skills, such as teamwork, communication, and conflict management, was seen as
particularly important. Additionally, there was a shared belief that youth would also benefit from programs that provide them with training and capital support to create small businesses. In a recent study, the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) a program funded by UK
Department for International Development (DFID) attempted to answer the question: whether Nigeria’s youth and by extension the country as a whole stand to be winners or losers from the overall government response to unemployment. Findings from the research revealed that most of the government youth employment and empowerment interventions were found to:

  •  Lack inconsistent quality in program design, outreach and delivery
  •  Lack limited communication between policy makers and consultation with young people in designing and delivering interventions
  • Lack gender analysis and responsiveness
  •  Lack conflict sensitivity based on the understanding that injecting resources into societies where power and economic access may be contested can fuel and aggravate pre-existing tensions
  •  Politicize initiatives and the beneficiaries
  • Have challenges in overlapping mandates, leadership and institutional coordination of all initiatives
  • Address symptoms rather than causes of youth unemployment.

Inspired by these findings and recommendations from the PIND Youth assessment study, PIND and her partners is organizing a two day “Youth Link Forum”.

Objectives of 2014 Youth Link Forum

  •  Improve knowledge and skills of youth participants in preparing winning Curriculum vitae that can earn them job interview slots
  • Share effective tips on how to prepare for job interviews
  •  Improve business knowledge and skills of youth to start and manage an existing business
  •  Provide a platform for youth and policy makers in public and private sector to dialogue and identify solutions that can help increase opportunities for youth
  • Provide information and guidance that can prepare youth in mitigation violent conflicts that impedes job creation and entrepreneurship.
  •  Develop a concrete follow up action plan based on recommendations from the forum.

Benefits for participating Youth
The Youth Forum will include panel sessions and breakout workshops that build capacity for youth.
Workshops will provide young people new skills and knowledge on how to:

  •  Search and secure job opportunities through the employability skill and knowledge gained.
  • Youth with interest in entrepreneurship will access information that will enable them start-up new businesses while those who already own an existing business will be able to expand their businesses.
  •  Work with government towards building greater transparency, strengthening accountability and ensuring mechanisms for feedback are in place.
  • Contribute to identify appropriate solutions, actions and projects tailored to addressing constraints affecting youth employability and entrepreneurship development will be identified.
  • Network with other like minded youths across the region to foster a peaceful environment and contribute to the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.

Benefits for participating Government Institutions, Youth serving organizations and Private sector

  • The forum will provide an opportunity for like-minded organizations and individuals to influence and inform knowledge, policies, attitudes, behaviors and leverage resources that will re-position youth in the Niger Delta.
  • Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies will learn good case studies of how youth programs in the Niger Delta are working.

1. Entrepreneurship development opportunities

  • Financial inclusion products and opportunities for Youth Entrepreneurs
  • Business start-ups and Opportunities in Agribusiness and ICT
  • How did I make it?: Experience sharing from successful Youth entrepreneurs

2. Employability skills for Youth

  •  How to prepare a winning resume?
  • How to prepare for job interviews?

3. Peace, Conflict and Livelihoods

  • Mitigating election violence: what role can youth play?
  • Impacts of violence on Entrepreneurship development and Employment opportunities

4. Cross Cutting issues

  •  Mind set change and Value re-orientation
  •  Role of Government in Promoting Entrepreneurship development and Job Creation

Target Audience/Participants
The Youth link is open for final year undergraduates, graduates of tertiary institutions and self-employed youth who live and work in the Niger Delta region and are between the ages of 18 – 35 years. The forum is also open to any organization working on topics related to youth advocacy, governance, youth development, youth programs and policies, youth entrepreneurship, youth accountability, youth
participation, or a related field.

Strategic Partners

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  •  Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA)
  • Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)

Target Number
The target number of participants for this forum is between 500 youth selected across the Niger Delta region.
Call for Participation
The Youth Link 2014 is open to everyone who is interested in this year’s theme of Linking Youth to Employment and Entrepreneurship skills. However due to space limitations and in the interest of maximizing the impact of the event, we encourage everyone to submit an online application and motivation for attending the event. The application form can be accessed via and Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail within 1-2 weeks from the receipt of their complete online application and receipt of their motivation letter.

Confirmed speakers and panelists for the Forum

  •  Chude Jideonwo, Executive Director, Red Media
  • Cynthia Umoru, Youth Entrepreneur and farmer and a former Member of the National Conference
  • Uzo Nduka, CEO Dominos Nigeria Limited
  • Alhaji Bature Masari, Director General Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
  • Mr. Prince W. Alazigha, Director – Youth, Sports And Women AffairsNiger Delta Development Commission, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • Gossy Uknawoke President, Beni American University
  • Michael Oluwagbemi, Executive Partner/Principal, LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited
  • Honorable Minister for Youth Development
  • Mrs. Blessing Daniel-Kalio General Manager Business Development & Job Creation, Rivers
    State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA)
  • Head, YoUWIN Program, Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Dr. Friday Okpara, Head, Public Private Partnerships, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
  •  Zonal Director National Directorate of Employment, Rivers State
  • State Director, National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), Rivers State
  • Uzo Nduka, CEO Dominos Nigeria Limited
  • Dr. Martin Fregene, Technical Special Adviser on Agricultural Transformation to the Honorable Minister of Agriculture
  • Dr. Chuma Ezedinma, NPO Agribusiness & Agro-Industry, UNIDO Regional Office, Nigeria
  • Irene Ibekuze, National Program Coordinator Community Based Natural Resources Management Program, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Wennovation Hub (Business Start-up consultants)
  •  Iyin Aboyeji, CEO Andela (Software Development Company)
  • Yinka Jibrin HR Manager, British High Commission
  • Dr. Jude Ohanele, Director, Development Dynamics, Owerri, Imo State
  • Inatimi Odio, ACE Initiative, Yenagoa, Bayelsa
  • Wynfred Ache, Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
  •  Prince Uwaifo Oviawe Public Relation Officer, Partners for Peace, Rivers State Chapter
  • Bella Anne Ndubuisi Head Abuja Hub, Global Shapers
  • Seye Odukogbe, Abuja Hub, Global Shapers
  • Chima Nnadozie, Head SME Diamond Bank Plc
  • Representative from LAPO Microfinance Bank
  • Head National Orientation Agency, Rivers State
  • Rotimi Olawale, Chairman African Youth Parliament
  • Special Adviser to the President on Youth Empowerment
  • Sylvester Okoh, Field Projects Manager, PIND Foundation
  •  Ese Emerhi, Project Manager, NDLink, PIND Foundation
  • Bose Eitokpah, Strategic Programs Manager PIND Foundation.
  • Nkasi Wodu, Peace Building Program Officer, PIND Foundation
  • Colins Imoh, Partners for Peace Projects Manager, PIND Foundation

DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM 2014 Youth-Link-Registration Form

 Send your completed forms to 

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